How much formal education do meeting planners
have? M&C pursued that question in an online survey
conducted in June. Of the 332 planners who responded, 48 percent
hold four-year bachelor’s degrees; another 26 percent attended some
college but did not earn a degree.
Among the rest of the sample, 12 percent hold master’s degrees,
7 percent have two-year associate’s degrees and 2 percent are
Ph.D.s. Four percent concluded their education after high school,
and 1 percent did not finish high school.
Those who went to college report a wide
range of majors. The highest number (24 percent) concentrated on
business/accounting; followed by marketing/communications (16
percent), hospitality (5 percent) and English (2 percent).
Respondents cited more than 100 other majors, including
behavioral science, chemistry, criminal justice, home economics,
meetings and destination management, and meteorology.
Many planners are taking classes now at universities or via
professional associations. Six percent currently are enrolled in a
college-accredited program, while in the past, 22 percent have
taken college-accredited courses in hospitality-related subjects.
Fully 78 percent have enrolled in classes while working full
The findings show employers generally are
supportive of continuing education; 79 percent of respondents said
their companies reimburse them for local seminars and educational
events; 56 percent are reimbursed for classes offered by meetings
industry associations, and 51 percent are covered for courses for
industry certification programs as well as college courses.
Thirteen percent get no reimbursement at all.